Repent of your sins and turn to God, for the Kingdom of Heaven is near.
Matthew 3:2 (NLT)
Let’s think about repentance, humility and self-denial…
The Shrove Tuesday indulgence is over. Lent has begun.
The 40 days of Lent begins on Ash Wednesday and culminates with the resurrection. It is a self-reflective season of repentance and humility, preparing our hearts for Christ’s sacrifice
on our behalf. It’s a time to intentionally grow closer to God.
I have participated in the practice of Lenten fasting for 5 years and find that it deepens my relationship with God. I eliminate something from my daily routine (a false idol?) and instead, focus my attention on Him. Selecting something personally meaningful is key: Chocolate? Caffeine? Social media? TV?
There are several explanations. Some say they lean on God for strength when tempted by the taboo item, so fasting from a true crutch both
repents of your dependence on an idol and increases your dependence on God. Others explain that each temptation reminds them of Jesus’ sacrifice. A Catholic friend recently told me the sacrifice is our penance for the sins we’re repenting.
A more modern version adds an act of self-sacrifice during Lent – like reading Scripture or praying (if these aren’t already daily habits) or increased acts of service. These are appealing and could definitely bring you close to God.
How do you observe Lent? Do you fast? Add a spiritual practice? If so, why? Please share!